Creator: Hannah Teves
(Read poem before commentary). This poem addresses the illusions that surround our sense of self-identity and our understanding of our sometimes traitorous thoughts. Often, the way we see ourselves and the way we see others are tangled with prejudice and veiled with doubt. In this poem, the speaker is viewing their world as if through a screen of metaphor; their own simultaneous self-hatred and narcissism skews how they see themself. Their mind is so blinded by illusory images that they believe they are profane, inadequate, and deserving of “slow execution” for their perceived sins. I attempted to use contrasting and conflicting language to further the way that at first glance, the poem does not truly make sense. The poem itself is an illusion for the true message of the work, a story of the struggle with hatred and mental illness. I wrote the poem with this message in mind, but I made sure to stay away from more common or well-known metaphors for mental illness, because to me, writing poetry is about challenging myself. Rather than more stereotypical images of mental illness, this work references images of magic, nature, animals, etc. that have little or nothing to do with mental illness or even the theme of illusion. This was my intention; I wanted the reader to search for meaning in the poem, much as we search for meaning in our own deceptive, illusory minds. The poem is part of an ongoing series of works about mental illness.
Hannah is a freshman English major who can often be seen wearing enormous sweaters and drinking copious amounts of almond milk. Their lifelong dream is to live in a tiny cabin in the woods, raising bees and reading Proust. Their childhood crush was Luna Lovegood, and their patronus is a fox.